What Was I Reading in July/August 2019?

After the previous computer problems, my monthly reading list has needed to be combined so you and I can catch up.

book opened on top of white table beside closed red book and round blue foliage ceramic cup on top of saucer
Reading always relaxes me-.GIve me a good book and a cup of coffee and my cares melt away.

Charms & Cupcake by Baily Cates

Charms & choclate chips

Three and a half stars from me. Again, a likeable and engaging story. Unfortunately, I somehow missed book two, so I was not reading in sequence. However, it was easy to catch up.  What I like best about this series is how Katie is learning more about her magical abilities and also the ramifications of using magic. Again, an ample supply of suspects, red herrings and a neat solution.

The Witches’ Tree by M.C Beaton

The Witches Tree

I have long been a fan of Agatha Raisin since she burst on the scene in Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death. This book does not have the same light tone as the earlier books, it made me wonder if the author had grown tired of the series. It was more satirical about the joys of living in the Cotswolds. Not quite as much fun as I was expecting. Plenty of red herrings and an alarming list of suspects again put Agatha in danger.

 

Bring Your Fiction to Life by  Karen S Wiener

Bring your Ficiton to LIfe

Helpful and informative with a wealth of advice from a hugely prolific author who knows what she is talking about. I think all writers would find something of interest in this book. Useful appendices too

The Bookshop On The Shore by Jenny Colgan

The Book shop on the Shore

A bit more serious than the light-hearted cover design might suggest. Heartfelt and beautifully told –  it certainly did not gloss over some hard situations- self-harm, single parenthood, neglected children etc. But with a hopeful and inspiring message too.

L’Amour Actually  by Melanie Jones

L'amour actually
The perfect cover for this book.

Not quite the romantic idyll that city girl Mel was expecting. For me, it was laughing out loud funny and describes rural life a long way from Paris and Parisienne chic. A cottage which although charming has ‘challenging’ plumbing-plus the rural suspicion of foreigners- including those from Paris. Add a  debonair and charming French man-of course! Lovely to read far less pleasant to live I would imagine. Told with good humour.

The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan.

The Lovliest Chocolate shop
Personally, I think this cover is a bit of a disappointment. I woudl have preferred something lusher. But as we know, authors don’t get to choose their book covers.

 

A book that celebrates both Paris and chocolate. It also highlights cultural differences, identity, coming of age, love and all things chocolate. I was delighted to read about Claire managing to escape her dominating father for one magical summer in Paris. Later on, she sends Anna to Paris to recuperate from an accident and once more Paris works its transformational magic. Additionally, the back pages have many tempting and delicious-sounding chocolate recipes.

 

And as I am preparing to give an author talk, I did some research

Your Perfect Presentation by Bill Hoogterp.Your Perfect Presentation

Takes you through the steps needed to build an interesting and informative presentation. A useful book.

TED talks Chris Anderton TED talks

What could I learn from reading about Ted talks? Quite a lot and all relayed in an easy to read and informative style.

With both of these books, I took plenty of notes.

 

 

 

How to Successfully Launch Your Book(Part Two)

Obviously, you are excited that you have finally published your book, but how do you tell the world about it?

person writing on white book
Careful planning will help make your launch a success

Unless you are an already a well-established author, one of those who the publishers are promoting and escorting on a book tour, how you organise the launch will probably be up to you.

Fiction or Non-Fiction?

As stated earlier each requires a different approach.

Fiction.

What genre is your book?

Thriller. Murder, Cosy Crime, Domestic Noir. Women’s fiction, Chic-Lit, Adventure, Romance, Paranormal, Fantasy. Sci-Fi. Saga. Historical, Memoir, Short stories Children’s’ books, Picture books.

Each of these could be launched using a different approach depending on your venue, budget and your creativity.

A romance novel demands a changed approach to a thriller which will attract a mixed audience, while romance is more likely to attract a mainly female one

You may want to reflect your genre in your launch colour scheme and promotional materials, flyers, bookmarks and props.

Giveaways. Bookmarks, stickers, charms anything with your name and book title. Bought wisely they cost very little and add to your presentation.

For my launch of Fire& Ice, I had giveaway charms of ice skates, or snowflakes or a Viking helmet. Each was packaged with a card promoting my blog. which I gave away with each book sold.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA
Viking helmet, pair of Ice Skates, Snowflake.

Another genre would demand an alternative approach-a thriller, mini binoculars, murder a magnifying glass or handcuffs charm.

Put your creativity to work in imaging how will you make your book launch stand out?

Your nonfiction book.

So many topics, Money, Parenting, Health, Business, Coaching, Fitness, Diet, Cooking, Animals. Gardening. To an extent, your topic will define where to hold your launch.

For example, it wouldn’t really make sense to launch a money-making book at a playgroup. Yes, you may have some interest, but they are not really your target audience. You’d be better off with an upmarket inner-city café, or even a bank-themed restaurant.

Your parenting book would be perfect to launch at a playgroup, kindy or even your local library.

Maybe you could launch your gardening book at a local garden centre or even a cafe in a park?

Top Tips

 Time your launch to suit your audience. Daytime for a children’s book but evenings and weekends will all attract different audiences

Coffee and cake present quite a different launch image than cocktails and canapes- Keep your potential readers in mind.

Book launch food
Daytime launch, cupcakes, fruit platter and mini scones.

Don’t overlook your local library for any type of book launch.

They already have a  potential audience of committed readers plus the rooms for hire are very reasonably priced or may even be free. It doesn’t hurt to ask the events librarian if they can help. It is even better if you are already a regular library user. And of course, libraries usually have convenient parking.

person holding book from shelf
A library launch may be perfect for your book.

Parking. How will your attendees get to the venue? Check the parking or public transport.

Also, look at room capacity fifty people might seem like a good crowd –unless of course, they are in a huge room like a ballroom. This can echo and seem awkward, try to get a sense of how many people plan to attend.